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Introduction of CARC Paint - 1976?


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Hi.

I've been looking at TM 55-100-345-23 "Painting and Marking of Army Aircraft" (dating from 12 of June 1986) and wondering just when CARC "aircraft green" FS 34031 was actually introduced into service. According to TB 746-93-2 (from August 10, 1978) prior to TM 55-100-345-23 all US Army helicopters where to be painted FS 34087 olive drab - BUT - I've found a lot of pictures of UH-1H's AH-1S's OH-58's and CH-47's from Europe in a dark green color - looking an awful lot like 34031 or 34052. The dark green UH-1H's start around 1976. Would this use of dark green been a unit level or Europe only order? Does anyone know? and why can't I find any references to this in TB 746-93-2?

UH-1H with ASE 1984:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/Gallery/Page%20Six/Reforger%2084%20-%20Huey.jpg

OH-58 1980:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/Units/Army%20Aviation/A%20Co%20503rd%20Avn%201.jpg

AH-1S 1977?:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/units/army%20aviation/B%20Co%20205th%20Trans%20Bn%201978%20f.jpg

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Hi.

I've been looking at TM 55-100-345-23 "Painting and Marking of Army Aircraft" (dating from 12 of June 1986) and wondering just when CARC "aircraft green" FS 34031 was actually introduced into service. According to TB 746-93-2 (from August 10, 1978) prior to TM 55-100-345-23 all US Army helicopters where to be painted FS 34087 olive drab - BUT - I've found a lot of pictures of UH-1H's AH-1S's OH-58's and CH-47's from Europe in a dark green color - looking an awful lot like 34031 or 34052. The dark green UH-1H's start around 1976. Would this use of dark green been a unit level or Europe only order? Does anyone know? and why can't I find any references to this in TB 746-93-2?

UH-1H with ASE 1984:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/Gallery/Page%20Six/Reforger%2084%20-%20Huey.jpg

OH-58 1980:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/Units/Army%20Aviation/A%20Co%20503rd%20Avn%201.jpg

AH-1S 1977?:

http://www.usarmygermany.com/units/army%20aviation/B%20Co%20205th%20Trans%20Bn%201978%20f.jpg

I'm pretty sure the widespread use of CARC coincides pretty closely with the upgrading of US Army aircraft for NVG compatible operations. AS far as I can tell, that was around 1980. I think the OH-58 in the link is still OD. Ill give you the AH-1S looks pretty dark, especially compared to the OH-58 in the background, but I'm not sure it's CARC either. There are many shades of OD depending on it's age, time frame, mix lot, celestial position of Sagittarius when it was mixed, etc. Interesting that the Huey has a gray mast and lacks the improved particle separator but has all the ASE upgrades. Bottom line is there would have been a substantial period of time when all kinds of mixes of painting styles and upgrades could be found. I have some of the original test board photos from their paint tests and I'll have to check the exact dates. If I find anything definitive, I'll let you know.

Ray

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Also noted on Air Britain:

1166417F.jpg

UH-1H 71-20172 dated 1979 at Greenham Common with ASE

and UH-1H 71-20207 at Middle Wallop

1163295F.jpg

2 interesting points about these "pre-CARC" dark green aircraft is that the rotor systems are still in Vietnam era light grey and olive drab with yellow warning stripes. This changed later to overall black. Also note that the paint has a bit of a sheen - not like CARC which has a sandpaper like texture.

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Also noted on Air Britain:

1166417F.jpg

UH-1H 71-20172 dated 1979 at Greenham Common with ASE

and UH-1H 71-20207 at Middle Wallop

1163295F.jpg

2 interesting points about these "pre-CARC" dark green aircraft is that the rotor systems are still in Vietnam era light grey and olive drab with yellow warning stripes. This changed later to overall black. Also note that the paint has a bit of a sheen - not like CARC which has a sandpaper like texture.

Good finds. Makes my point about the late 70's birds well. Notice no WSP kits on either of them either. If you really want to go deep in the weeds, check the tail on the upper bird and you will see it lacks the second NVG compatible position light as well. Also, the top bird has the APR 39 warning system installed whereas the lower bird only has the APR 39 blisters.

Ray

You can see the second NVG compatible light below the original on this Huey tail:

PICT1876.jpg

Edited by rotorwash
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OK, Here is my understanding of this conversation. The ASE (toilet bowl and associated components), was introduced late Vietnam. The FM 2 antenna on the roof cam soon after in the early 70s. Next came the APR39 system in the early 80s. The wire strike system came next in the mid eighty's The IPS did not come on the scene until the very late 80s. I did not see the IPS until the Gulf war. Mostly all of these improvements were implemented in Germany first, Korea soon after. This was directly due to the possible fight with the Soviet Forces and Communist forces. The CARC paint was supposed provide easy decontamination if the aircraft was exposed to chemical, nuclear or biological attack. Ray is on the money about the paint itself, but remember one thing. The paint itself had a different chemical makeup in the US versus overseas, due to environmental restrictions overseas. The first CARC was a very dark green over seas (I think I heard it have had sand in it), then ended up being a very light green, almost a grey/ green color toward the end of the cold war. As a matter of fact, the sky crane on display at fort Rucker was almost grey when I saw it last in the mid 90s. The stateside ships were a darker green as well, but since my services, most have been what the standard is now. OK here is the caveat to all this, especially with Hueys. Nothing is standard or the same in modern era Hueys, except the wire strike system. Most Hueys had the APR 39 systems, but some did not (one US Army Huey is STILL in operation at Redstone Arsenal that does not have them). Most Hueys did not have the Toilet bowl here in the states. Most were in Germany and Korea. Some Hueys had the windowed jumpdoor, most did not. Rotor mast color, forget it....I have seen the full black, grey, bare (siverish gold) and zinc chromate. Hell, I have scene some Hueys that were so mismatched, a model contest judge would fail you because it looked to weathered. The CARC paint used by the army differs by manufacturer, and most importantly FADED different.

Now the inside.

In Vietnam the standard cabin color was strait gray. During the Early NVG days it changed to all black (crews even spray painted the sound proofing, bad idea). Then they started painting the pilots area black, to just behind the front seats, then the rest was grey. I was in one of the last operational huey units in the Army, we had both types of cockpits. Please note that they are all different and this may not apply to your experience.

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OK, Here is my understanding of this conversation. The ASE (toilet bowl and associated components), was introduced late Vietnam. The FM 2 antenna on the roof cam soon after in the early 70s. Next came the APR39 system in the early 80s. The wire strike system came next in the mid eighty's The IPS did not come on the scene until the very late 80s. I did not see the IPS until the Gulf war. Mostly all of these improvements were implemented in Germany first, Korea soon after. This was directly due to the possible fight with the Soviet Forces and Communist forces. The CARC paint was supposed provide easy decontamination if the aircraft was exposed to chemical, nuclear or biological attack. Ray is on the money about the paint itself, but remember one thing. The paint itself had a different chemical makeup in the US versus overseas, due to environmental restrictions overseas. The first CARC was a very dark green over seas (I think I heard it have had sand in it), then ended up being a very light green, almost a grey/ green color toward the end of the cold war. As a matter of fact, the sky crane on display at fort Rucker was almost grey when I saw it last in the mid 90s. The stateside ships were a darker green as well, but since my services, most have been what the standard is now. OK here is the caveat to all this, especially with Hueys. Nothing is standard or the same in modern era Hueys, except the wire strike system. Most Hueys had the APR 39 systems, but some did not (one US Army Huey is STILL in operation at Redstone Arsenal that does not have them). Most Hueys did not have the Toilet bowl here in the states. Most were in Germany and Korea. Some Hueys had the windowed jumpdoor, most did not. Rotor mast color, forget it....I have seen the full black, grey, bare (siverish gold) and zinc chromate. Hell, I have scene some Hueys that were so mismatched, a model contest judge would fail you because it looked to weathered. The CARC paint used by the army differs by manufacturer, and most importantly FADED different.

Now the inside.

In Vietnam the standard cabin color was strait gray. During the Early NVG days it changed to all black (crews even spray painted the sound proofing, bad idea). Then they started painting the pilots area black, to just behind the front seats, then the rest was grey. I was in one of the last operational huey units in the Army, we had both types of cockpits. Please note that they are all different and this may not apply to your experience.

I think all of that is on the money except I was under the impression that the WSP kit was vital component of the ASE (Aircraft Survivability Equipment) upgrades along with the improved particle separator and oil cooler heat shield. I started to mention the whip antenna in my last reply as I believe it was the first Huey mod that was done post Vietnam. While we are talking about upgrades and dates, in July of 1980 the orders for the installation of a radar altimeter to existing UH-1H’s created the UH-1V, a dedicated medevac version of the Huey. Further, in December of 1994 orders were issued for the installation of a GPS system (the antenna of which was mounted to the roof wire cutter) to existing UH-1V’s. Finally, helping to date specific photos based on mods, in 1997, the method of partially obscuring the position lights was defined in a maintenance work order and each light was covered precisely 1/8 inch shy of half way to allow some light to show per FAA regulations. Prior to that date many position lights were simply painted over. We are getting way down in the weeds at this point, but it seems that's where this one was headed. Thanks for the info on the different CARC paint types in Europe. Never knew that before. Interesting about crews painting teh sound proofing black. I guess that explains why I have seen a number of all black interiors minus the soundproofing. Just for the record, the Rucker CH-54 has been repainted to a regular OD so it's no good for any kind of CARC paint reference now!

Ray

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Well the GPS was not 100% either. Some of our last ones did not have them at all. Some of our other ones had the GPS antenna mounted on the cabin roof (255), the rest on the wire strike. I am not sure the correlation between the wire strike system and the toilet bowl, oil cooling shroud and the engine plates, but in my observations that they are not related. The wire strikes were on every fielded aircraft I have ever seen, but the ASE and APR39s were not, and not related (practically). The IPS was after al that. The whip antenna (on the tail) was there during Vietnam. I think that is the FM antenna. The FM2 antenna was the one that looks like a check make that is mounted on the cabin roof, if I remember correctly. Another twist, these antennas were all taken off at one of my units...not sure why. Yet another twist. The Alaskan NG did not of the regular FM2 antennas as described. They had same white ones. With one this being said, I am wondering if the ASE requirements were upgraded in steps as the years went on. Just look at my photos that you posted. One of the a/c has the GPS on the wire strike with the ASE, but old particle separator. One of our other a/c (088) had everything, but the APR39s. We only had one out of 15 that had the GPS on the wire strike all the ASE, new particle separator and APR39s.

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Well the GPS was not 100% either. Some of our last ones did not have them at all. Some of our other ones had the GPS antenna mounted on the cabin roof (255), the rest on the wire strike. I am not sure the correlation between the wire strike system and the toilet bowl, oil cooling shroud and the engine plates, but in my observations that they are not related. The wire strikes were on every fielded aircraft I have ever seen, but the ASE and APR39s were not, and not related (practically). The IPS was after al that. The whip antenna (on the tail) was there during Vietnam. I think that is the FM antenna. The FM2 antenna was the one that looks like a check make that is mounted on the cabin roof, if I remember correctly. Another twist, these antennas were all taken off at one of my units...not sure why. Yet another twist. The Alaskan NG did not of the regular FM2 antennas as described. They had same white ones. With one this being said, I am wondering if the ASE requirements were upgraded in steps as the years went on. Just look at my photos that you posted. One of the a/c has the GPS on the wire strike with the ASE, but old particle separator. One of our other a/c (088) had everything, but the APR39s. We only had one out of 15 that had the GPS on the wire strike all the ASE, new particle separator and APR39s.

As you point out well, there are always exceptions to the rule when it comes to Hueys. my only point was that if you see a Huey photo with one of those mods, it helps narrow down the time frame. Since I have the MWO's for those mods, I'm pretty confident on the dates of first appearance. Something that might be useful would be to look at some of the last Hueys as they left the US Army. Below are some birds that may get a new lease on life as Huey II's, TH-1H's or possible parts for either. Also, I have included a few Flatiron Hueys which were the last operational US Army Hueys at Ft. Rucker.

Ray

Let's start off by looking at colors. What color would you say this aircraft is:

DSC_0026_zpse8a52fe7.jpg

How about this one:

DSC_0027_zpsa5d25636.jpg

I'm sure you've realized these are the same bird. Pics were taken on the same day, just the position relative to the sun was different. Check out that gnarly paint job by the way. I assume this is the extreme weathering of CARC?

Here's a line of old warriors showing the kinds of variation in paint you can see:

DSC_0570_zps7f4327b7.jpg

Another case of time of day and conditions changing appearance of color:

DSC_0034_zps6f0d8fde.jpg

DSC_0340_zpsd705e393.jpg

These are some of the last Flatiron Hueys, including the last white Huey in the Army:

UH-1V69-15271fuselage33_zps24bf80b1.jpg

DSC_0482_zps7bf14a7c.jpg

UH-1V70-16465nose1_zps35f78c7a.jpg

The interior of the National Guard Hueys at Bell were all black:

DSC_0361_zps1f2c2e2b.jpg

While that of the Flatiron birds was black cockpit\gray cabin:

UH-1V69-15271cabin25_zps8cab9347.jpg

While it may not have been true of every Huey, all the above birds have the GPS mounted to the roof Wire Strike blade so I assume it wa sthe most common configuration by the end. Hope some of this helps. Probably just makes it more confusing though!

Edited by rotorwash
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Hi guys - thanks for all the responses and great info. I direct you back to my question, however: Why where USAREUR helicopters being painted in a dark green color that looks very much like FS 34031...10 (TEN) YEARS before it was authroized under TM 55-1500-345-23? I think you have hit the nail on the head with the IR vision theory - it makes alot of sense. But why only Germany?

Does anyone know when CARC was first tested on army aircraft?

Was the paint used acutally CARC (MIL-C-46168) paint or just another shade of MIL-L-19538? It seems pretty clear to me that a dark green was being used starting from 1976 - I have some picutres of very dark green huyes in REFORGER 76 - and photo evidence from the USAREUR pages confirms this. This must have been USAREUR only, as stateside aircraft where in 34087 untill the big changes in 1986 due to TM 55-1500-345-23.

I wonder if there are any surviving documents about this?

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Hi guys - thanks for all the responses and great info. I direct you back to my question, however: Why where USAREUR helicopters being painted in a dark green color that looks very much like FS 34031...10 (TEN) YEARS before it was authroized under TM 55-1500-345-23? I think you have hit the nail on the head with the IR vision theory - it makes alot of sense. But why only Germany?

Does anyone know when CARC was first tested on army aircraft?

Was the paint used acutally CARC (MIL-C-46168) paint or just another shade of MIL-L-19538? It seems pretty clear to me that a dark green was being used starting from 1976 - I have some picutres of very dark green huyes in REFORGER 76 - and photo evidence from the USAREUR pages confirms this. This must have been USAREUR only, as stateside aircraft where in 34087 untill the big changes in 1986 due to TM 55-1500-345-23.

I wonder if there are any surviving documents about this?

Well I tried to baffle you with my BS but looks like you have brought us back on task! The earliest IR paint tests I can find THUS FAR are these pics of a AH-1F testing a tan IR paint on April 12, 1982:

AH-1FIRPaintTestApril121982C4144-AI-99B-IRS-063001_zpsf889ccff.jpg

Here you can see it on display with another green test board AH-1F (is the green one CARC?-see continued discussion below):

TestBoardbirdsondisplay002_zps8b30e7f0.jpg

I think we all agree this is CARC- March 17, 2011:

DSC_0480_zps420a9bb5.jpg

How about this US Army Aviation Test Board Huey from Feb 26, 1976-is it CARC?:

UH-1HFeb261976_zps29786164.jpg

The shade of green at least doesn't look that different to this bird:

YUH-1D6034May171966_zpsb43a50b9.jpg

That last one is a YUH-1D on May 17, 1966! What I am getting at is I can't tell just by looking at a photo if a bird is definitely CARC or not (OK the YUH-1D has gloss paint so that's really not that hard). I can certainly tell up close and personal as CARC just looks and feels very different in person. Of course I haven't been documenting which is which as I have visited aircraft so that does me a fat lot of good! I'll keep looking for the elusive Huey CARC Paint test pics. I'm sure they are in the Test Board negatives somewhere.

Ray

Edited by rotorwash
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In another Huey related post, there were some pics of an intermediate green color that came into play at the tail end of the Vietnam war. Darker than the usual OD but not nearly as dark as CARC.

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Ray! Those test board pictures are AMAZING! YOU ARE THE MAN!

For the record ALL of the responses you guys have sent are valuable and very very interesting. I've saved everything so I can refer to it later. I truly appreciate the info - its really nice to talk with other rotor heads.

I've been over TB 746-93-2 again and found a reference to "CCL-740-1611" low reflective camouflage scheme. It's in section III of Chapter 5 - "Non standard paint schemes". It talks about low IR reflective values and that CCL-740-1611 is a "modification of MIL-L-81352". It talks about painting the entire aircraft and gives directions on how to paint rotor blades with the paint so as to not put them out of balance. This could be it gentlemen! no mention of an FS color though - this is from TB 746-93-2 10th August 1978.

Any thoughts?

Pre-CARC color for low IR reflectance? Hmmmm....

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Ray! Those test board pictures are AMAZING! YOU ARE THE MAN!

For the record ALL of the responses you guys have sent are valuable and very very interesting. I've saved everything so I can refer to it later. I truly appreciate the info - its really nice to talk with other rotor heads.

I've been over TB 746-93-2 again and found a reference to "CCL-740-1611" low reflective camouflage scheme. It's in section III of Chapter 5 - "Non standard paint schemes". It talks about low IR reflective values and that CCL-740-1611 is a "modification of MIL-L-81352". It talks about painting the entire aircraft and gives directions on how to paint rotor blades with the paint so as to not put them out of balance. This could be it gentlemen! no mention of an FS color though - this is from TB 746-93-2 10th August 1978.

Any thoughts?

Pre-CARC color for low IR reflectance? Hmmmm....

Misc thoughts, since I was in Army aviation at that time (1977-1981):

1. At Rucker in mid-1977 I saw aircraft in the darker OD, that was called "aircraft green". It was being applied in depot-level maintenance. On the ramps you could see all sorts of aircraft in faded 34087 from Vietnam, freshly-applied 34087, and the darker aircraft green.

2. I believe this paint (along with the aircraft gray) had a reduced IR reflectivity, what was called "IR glint". BTW, the first gray fixed-wing a/c I saw were at Ft. Hood in early or mid-1978, with some OV-1Ds from the 15th MIB at Robert Gray AAF. I never saw any gray fixed-wing at Rucker in mid-1977.

3. Huey ASE: my unit at Hood (A Co 227th Avn Bn - 1977-1979) had a mix of ASE - some a/c had the oil cooler cover, some didn't, some had the toilet bowl and the side vent covers, some didn't. One had a smoke rig. I believe the APR-39 RWR was just being fielded around 1979-1980. None of the a/c had a black interior. In fact, there were training circulars (TCs) that showed how to convert a/c for night ops using various home-made solutions like transparent blue tape over warning lights. NVGs were just being (slowly) fielded at Hood at that time, with both ground and aviation units, and they were rare and expensive. It should be remembered that the Army did not have a wide experience with NVGs until TF160 was formed in mid 1980.

4. Hood still had a lot of a/c with the MERDC camo in 1977-1979, although they were being slowly repainted. There were about 500 helicopters at Hood AAF at that time. There were more MERDC a/c in the 2nd AD units - the 1st Cav UH-1s from the 227th and the Cobras from the 1/9th Cav were all standard OD. The 6th Cav Bde had inherited a lot of the 1st Cav aviation assets and they had a mix of standard and MERDC paint jobs on their a/c, including CH-47s. The MERDC paint varied by unit - some had light MERDC and some had a darker MERDC with more dark brown instead of sandy brown. The III Corps Flight Detachment at Robert Gray AAF had UH-1s with a dark brown MERDC scheme with gray undersides, with a scalloped edging to the gray.

Some of the Hood MERDC a/c had their blades also painted in MERDC paint but this wasn't common. I've seen photos of 101st birds in MERDC paint with elaborate blades so maybe that was more common at Campbell.

5. When I went to Korea in late 1979 the a/c in Korea were mostly in the new, darker aircraft green. I did NOT see the common use of the toilet bowl there, for example none of the 201st Aviation Company UH-1s at Camp Humphreys had it mounted. Once in a while I would see it on a Cobra. The only NVGs I saw in Korea belong to the USMC helo unit detachments which used Camp Humphreys as a temp base. I did not see or hear of any Army aviation units using NVGs in my time in Korea from late 1979 to early 1981.

6. Fixed-wings in Korea from 1979-81 were a mix of paint schemes - the OV-1s/RV-1s/RU-21s of the 146th AEB were in transition from the Vietnam-era 34087 or the dark aircraft green to the aircraft gray. All RU-21Hs had been re-painted to gray with the exception of one which was no longer a mission aircraft due to it having been banged up on landing, and it was stripped of mission equipment and used as a hack. The first C-12s arrived in Korea in 1978 or 1979, in the standard gloss OD/white paint scheme. The AEB OV/RV-1s were slower in getting re-painted to gray.

7. CARC - I never heard the term until after I got out of the Army in early 1981.

8. Careful with TBs/TMs, etc. as sources of information - they are often "after the fact" and may reflect what has been going on in the field for months (and sometimes years) prior to the published date.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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Great topíc.

I know this birds are not U.S. Army ones, but they are painted in CARC and they once were U.S. Army (Hueys), here you can see El Salvador Air Force Birds with CARC paint in different conditions, i know all Hueys that came to ES beggining in 81 came in Aircraft Green or CARC, none of them came in OD, the first batch of 12 came in freshly applied depot paint. I cannot say all Hueys were CARC, but definitly they all were aircraft green, i have seen recently applied CARC in El Salvador birds and man, that paint is super matte and it looks lke it has some sort of a sand type surface, it doesnt reflect any shade, and El Salvador AF used Sherwin Williams CARC for some years to paint all their Helicopters, they even were AD of SW aerospace coating paints.

In the photos you can see some Hueys with CARC, the Hueys that has the US serial in the vertical fin are from the 80s, the M is from late 80s too, the MD500E´s are painted with CARC aircraft green freshly applied, you can see how it looks. This type of paint fades pretty easely.

Rod.

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Edited by salvador001
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Hi.

I've been looking at TM 55-100-345-23 "Painting and Marking of Army Aircraft" (dating from 12 of June 1986) and wondering just when CARC "aircraft green" FS 34031 was actually introduced into service. According to TB 746-93-2 (from August 10, 1978) prior to TM 55-100-345-23 all US Army helicopters where to be painted FS 34087 olive drab - BUT - I've found a lot of pictures of UH-1H's AH-1S's OH-58's and CH-47's from Europe in a dark green color - looking an awful lot like 34031 or 34052. The dark green UH-1H's start around 1976. Would this use of dark green been a unit level or Europe only order? Does anyone know? and why can't I find any references to this in TB 746-93-2?

More info:

Looking back through various MIL standards, I found a historical document which shows multi-component CARC as having existed as far back as 1974 but not being widely implemented. MIL-C-53039 (April 16, 1984) called for one-component CARC and aircraft green 34031 was one of the colors specified. Prior to 1984 the documentation is pretty sparse as far as IR reflectivity and chemical agent resistance. In the 1985 and subsequent period many MIL standards suddenly talk about CARC being a requirement. I bet there were multiple versions of 34031 in use - a NON-CARC in the U.S., possibly a multi-component CARC in Germany early on, and later a one-component CARC used Army-wide.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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More info:

Looking back through various MIL standards, I found a historical document which shows multi-component CARC as having existed as far back as 1974 but not being widely implemented. MIL-C-53039 (April 16, 1984) called for one-component CARC and aircraft green 34031 was one of the colors specified. Prior to 1984 the documentation is pretty sparse as far as IR reflectivity and chemical agent resistance. In the 1985 and subsequent period many MIL standards suddenly talk about CARC being a requirement. I bet there were multiple versions of 34031 in use - a NON-CARC in the U.S., possibly a multi-component CARC in Germany early on, and later a one-component CARC used Army-wide.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

John,

Looks like you have this thing about figured out. All I really know for sure is CARC is the ugliest dang stuff ever slopped on a Huey! I did find this in a 1986 painting and markings guide under rotary wing aircraft:

4-11. GENERAL. MIL-C-46168 polyurethane

paint must be applied over properly

prepared subsurfaces. This paint shall not be applied

over topcoats other than MIL-C-46168

painted equipment. Because of weight considerations,

overcoating over MIL-C-46168 paint shall be

restricted to small areas.

Any idea whether MIL-C-46168 is also considered a version of CARC?

Ray

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John,

Looks like you have this thing about figured out. All I really know for sure is CARC is the ugliest dang stuff ever slopped on a Huey! I did find this in a 1986 painting and markings guide under rotary wing aircraft:

4-11. GENERAL. MIL-C-46168 polyurethane

paint must be applied over properly

prepared subsurfaces. This paint shall not be applied

over topcoats other than MIL-C-46168

painted equipment. Because of weight considerations,

overcoating over MIL-C-46168 paint shall be

restricted to small areas.

Any idea whether MIL-C-46168 is also considered a version of CARC?

Ray

Ray,

In 1986 the MIL-C-46168 standard did require chemical agent resistance.

It should be remembered that CARC and certain paint shades are not synonymous. Specific paint shades could be available in non-CARC versions and in CARC versions, and the CARC agents could be added to non-CARC versions, or could be overcoated with CARC coatings. In addition, MIL-C-46168 at the time shows that there were multiple versions of the CARC paint, formulated differently for different areas based upon the environmental laws in effect in those areas. Also, certain colors (like gray 36300, green 34031, black 37031, and dark sandstone 33510) did NOT have to match FS 595 - they instead had to match color chips housed at the Belvoir Research, Development, and Engineering Center. So now we have proof of multiple color standards in use simultaneously.

In addition to MIL-C-46168 (since superseded) there were many other MIL standards that went into defining paint and coating technologies, and all of these standards overlap but not 100%. It would take some time to dig out all the history of these standards and to see what changed when.

My take on all this is that it is difficult to look at any one photo and say for certainty whether that's a CARC painted aircraft or not.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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In another Huey related post, there were some pics of an intermediate green color that came into play at the tail end of the Vietnam war. Darker than the usual OD but not nearly as dark as CARC.

This has a very, very strong possibility of being true. Combined with the toilet bowl and it's associated panels it could be the first attempts at trying to defeat the newly fielded SA-7 being used against American helicopters in Vietnam. The color may have been referred to as "aircraft green".

Chris M

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Ray,

In 1986 the MIL-C-46168 standard did require chemical agent resistance.

It should be remembered that CARC and certain paint shades are not synonymous. Specific paint shades could be available in non-CARC versions and in CARC versions, and the CARC agents could be added to non-CARC versions, or could be overcoated with CARC coatings. In addition, MIL-C-46168 at the time shows that there were multiple versions of the CARC paint, formulated differently for different areas based upon the environmental laws in effect in those areas. Also, certain colors (like gray 36300, green 34031, black 37031, and dark sandstone 33510) did NOT have to match FS 595 - they instead had to match color chips housed at the Belvoir Research, Development, and Engineering Center. So now we have proof of multiple color standards in use simultaneously.

In addition to MIL-C-46168 (since superseded) there were many other MIL standards that went into defining paint and coating technologies, and all of these standards overlap but not 100%. It would take some time to dig out all the history of these standards and to see what changed when.

My take on all this is that it is difficult to look at any one photo and say for certainty whether that's a CARC painted aircraft or not.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

JOhn,

On that last sentence I think we both agree. I had no idea that the tangled web of paint standards and mixes was so dang thick. Thanks for adding much to our discussion!

Ray

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JOhn,

On that last sentence I think we both agree. I had no idea that the tangled web of paint standards and mixes was so dang thick. Thanks for adding much to our discussion!

Ray

More, from an Army document:

"Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) systems represent an important category of products that are researched, developed,

and implemented by the Army. Finishes under this umbrella resist penetration by chemical warfare agents and can be readily

decontaminated. This threat, identified in the early 1970’s, led to the development of the Army’s first generation

CARC (MIL-C-46168) in 1974. In 1983, the Department of Army required implementation of CARC systems for combat,

combat support, tactical wheeled vehicles, aircraft, and essential ground support equipment (i.e. tactical equipment)

beginning in Fiscal Year 1985."

So now we know pretty much around when CARC began to be used Army-wide. The mystery for me is when 34031 came along to be used for aircraft.

As Chris Miller has said, there's some sketchy evidence as to the use of IR-reducing paint as a response to the use of SA-7s in SEA, circa 1970 and possibly earlier, and this same paint was also used in Europe because that was seen as a future battleground with the Warsaw Pact and the environment would have been heavy with MANPADs. It remains to be seen whether 34031 was a linear descendant of these early variants of IR-reducing coatings or is related in any way.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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More, from an Army document:

"Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) systems represent an important category of products that are researched, developed,

and implemented by the Army. Finishes under this umbrella resist penetration by chemical warfare agents and can be readily

decontaminated. This threat, identified in the early 1970’s, led to the development of the Army’s first generation

CARC (MIL-C-46168) in 1974. In 1983, the Department of Army required implementation of CARC systems for combat,

combat support, tactical wheeled vehicles, aircraft, and essential ground support equipment (i.e. tactical equipment)

beginning in Fiscal Year 1985."

So now we know pretty much around when CARC began to be used Army-wide. The mystery for me is when 34031 came along to be used for aircraft.

As Chris Miller has said, there's some sketchy evidence as to the use of IR-reducing paint as a response to the use of SA-7s in SEA, circa 1970 and possibly earlier, and this same paint was also used in Europe because that was seen as a future battleground with the Warsaw Pact and the environment would have been heavy with MANPADs. It remains to be seen whether 34031 was a linear descendant of these early variants of IR-reducing coatings or is related in any way.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

John,

Mind telling us what that "Army Document" was? Very good info there. Thanks for sharing.

Ray

Edit: Never mind, used my Googlefu and found the article.

Edited by rotorwash
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"The first generation polyurethane based CARC topcoat(MIL-C-46168), proved to be a tremendous improvement over the enamel finish it replaced (MIL-E-52798)."

John,

I found this quote in the same document you mentioned above. 46168 is the CARC paint named in the 1986 painting guide. You'll notice it supposedly replaced MIL-E-52798. Do you have specific info on that paint type? I can tell you that future procurement of MIL-E-52798 was cancelled as of July 1 1987 and was to be replaced by MIL-C-46168. Any idea when MIL-E-52798 was first used? Since 46168 was developed in 74, I imagine there was about a 10 year period when, as you have mentioned before, all kinds of paint combos were possible. It's strange to me though that given 46168 was invented in 74, it's use wasn't mandated till 85. Reckon that means that before 85 it was mainly used on test aircraft?

Ray

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"The first generation polyurethane based CARC topcoat(MIL-C-46168), proved to be a tremendous improvement over the enamel finish it replaced (MIL-E-52798)."

John,

I found this quote in the same document you mentioned above. 46168 is the CARC paint named in the 1986 painting guide. You'll notice it supposedly replaced MIL-E-52798. Do you have specific info on that paint type? I can tell you that future procurement of MIL-E-52798 was cancelled as of July 1 1987 and was to be replaced by MIL-C-46168. Any idea when MIL-E-52798 was first used? Since 46168 was developed in 74, I imagine there was about a 10 year period when, as you have mentioned before, all kinds of paint combos were possible. It's strange to me though that given 46168 was invented in 74, it's use wasn't mandated till 85. Reckon that means that before 85 it was mainly used on test aircraft?

Ray

MIL-E-52798 itself was cancelled 21 May 76. The original date was 1 May 74. This MIL standard covered the paint used in the MERDC schemes, which were basically vehicle and equipment paints.

I don't know as to CARC usage prior to 1985. Unless there's a documentary trail it's hard to prove. My experience with Army stuff is that things are happening in the field prior to officially-dated paperwork, i.e. the authorizing documentation often is behind the activity. There are probably other authorizing documents like twixes that aren't found on-line.

As far as "aircraft green", I'm backtracking through docs - I have a TB 746-93-2 (10AUG78) and when I look in the standard camo paint scheme (chapter 4) it says paint in "aircraft green" for helos, with a MIL standard of MIL-L-46159. I looked that up, and it was first published 13JAN73. That standard is for "aircraft green" and black only, and the colors do not correspond to FS 595. The TB says the smoothest finish possible with this paint corresponds to 600 grit sandpaper. The formula for aircraft green is (by weight):

yellow iron oxide 14.9%

red iron oxide 2%

black iron oxide 7.8%

carbon black 3.1.%

2 kinds of silica 68.8%

montmorillonite 1.4%

The TB also says that a/c previously painted with paints under MIL-L-19538 will be converted to the new standard. But for fixed-wing, it stays with MIL-L-19538. Nowhere do I see a 34031 mentioned. I'm working through a boatload of MIL standards - it's unreal how many there are just for Army aircraft paints alone.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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MIL-E-52798 itself was cancelled 21 May 76. The original date was 1 May 74. This MIL standard covered the paint used in the MERDC schemes, which were basically vehicle and equipment paints.

I don't know as to CARC usage prior to 1985. Unless there's a documentary trail it's hard to prove. My experience with Army stuff is that things are happening in the field prior to officially-dated paperwork, i.e. the authorizing documentation often is behind the activity. There are probably other authorizing documents like twixes that aren't found on-line.

As far as "aircraft green", I'm backtracking through docs - I have a TB 746-93-2 (10AUG78) and when I look in the standard camo paint scheme (chapter 4) it says paint in "aircraft green" for helos, with a MIL standard of MIL-L-46159. I looked that up, and it was first published 13JAN73. That standard is for "aircraft green" and black only, and the colors do not correspond to FS 595. The TB says the smoothest finish possible with this paint corresponds to 600 grit sandpaper. The formula for aircraft green is (by weight):

yellow iron oxide 14.9%

red iron oxide 2%

black iron oxide 7.8%

carbon black 3.1.%

2 kinds of silica 68.8%

montmorillonite 1.4%

The TB also says that a/c previously painted with paints under MIL-L-19538 will be converted to the new standard. But for fixed-wing, it stays with MIL-L-19538. Nowhere do I see a 34031 mentioned. I'm working through a boatload of MIL standards - it's unreal how many there are just for Army aircraft paints alone.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

John,

YOu have way more patience than me, my friend! I don't want to get the thread too far afield again but I thought it night be instructive for others to see the MERDC schemes. Here it is one a AH-1G, UH-1C and OH-58A.

Ray

Cammo005_zps4e7dd0b0.jpg

AH-10151_1280x854_zpsc5f98605.jpg

Cammo002small_zpse42cf2eb.jpg

Cammo007_zps253b7de8.jpg

Just for grins and giggles, here's one in MERDC with an OD(I think)cobra that I'm betting most members won't know. I'll leave it a mystery and see if anyone knows what it is.

AH-1GandBoeingAAHproposal_zps04da0a9e.jpg

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